Program Support Assistant
Fire and Aviation
California State Office
Her coworkers claim she is feisty and stubborn. And with a maiden name like Balboa, you might guess it is common for her to be called "Rocky."
She grew up in Old Shasta, California. A hundred years ago, Old Shasta was the bustling commercial hub in Northern California. That is, until the railroad was built six miles east in Redding. Now, Old Shasta is the location of Shasta State Park, with gold rush-era historic buildings and ruins.
When Vanessa began attending Shasta Community College, she needed a job and applied for a U.S. Forest Service STEP (student temporary employment program) position and , she says, through persistence and perseverance was lucky to get a job at the Shasta-Trinity National forest supervisor's office, where she worked for the next three years.
She decided to attend Sacramento State University and found out about the Wildland Fire Training Center at McClellan. She asked for and was granted a within-service transfer to the center where she worked as the administrative assistant to the Region 5 fire prevention specialist. A couple of years later she converted to a student career employee program and worked as the program support assistant to the training center manager. She came to work for BLM in February 2008.
Vanessa has an associates degree in general education from Shasta Community College and a bachelor's degree in recreation administration from Sacramento State, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Vanessa and husband celebrated their first anniversary in September and just bought a house in Roseville. She says, "Children are pending a few more years of quiet, self-reflection and plain old fun!"
Amongst Vanessa's many interest is a love to go backpacking and, Lake Tahoe is her favorite place to explore. A few years ago, she and a couple of girl friends set out to hike the 165-mile Tahoe Rim trail ... in two weeks. They made it half way around the rim and had a "blast" before time ran out, but she is determined to complete the rest of the trek.
She also loves watching movies, reading books, exercise, and a drink of good coffee. She is passionate about animals and lucky for her husband when they first married, all they had were fish. But that changed, too. They are now proud owners of a new puppy! What better way to break in the new house?